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identity theft

  1. Hotel Keys Do Not Store Your Personal Information, but Here’s Why You Might Think That

    They can store your personal information, but it doesn't mean they do.

    As I learned on a family vacation this weekend, some people think that their hotel keycard is encoded with all sorts of personal information. This belief leads to people refusing to turn in their keycards at the end of a hotel stay for fear of that information being stolen. It's not true, but here's why some people think it is.

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  2. Instagram Food Porn Leads to Capture of Identity Thieves

    Food porn on Instagram is ridiculously ubiquitous. That is to say, pretty much everywhere you look someone's posted a meal for one reason or another. It's the perfect tool to show off how lovely your burger looks before devouring it. If, however, you're an identify thief trying to avoid getting caught by the law, perhaps it's a good idea to not take photos of food at your clandestine meetings.

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  3. Trolling With Someone Else's Facebook Account is Identity Theft in California

    In California, a recent ruling appears to define making false comments on someone else's Facebook as identity theft. Rolando, a juvenile resident, accessed the account information for another person, and like any good prankster, couldn't just let it go to waste. As a result, he logged onto the account, impersonated the rightful owner and made some public statements proclaiming a certain fondness of fellatio. As a result, he was charged with identity theft. Now, if you've had one of your "friends" do the same thing to you, as you likely have, identity theft may seem like a little bit of a jump, so let's break down the specifics. It all started when Rolando received an unsolicited text message that contained the victim's email password. From there, he presumably reset the victim's Facebook password by email and then logged onto the Facebook account for trolling purposes. A far cry from changing someone's "sexual preference" because they used your computer and forgot to log off. As a result, Rolando wound up being charged under a California statute that applies to someone who:

    ...willfully obtains personal identifying information [of the victim and] uses that information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain, or attempt to obtain, credit, goods, services, real property, or medication information.

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  4. Vindictive, WiFi Hacking Neighbor Sentenced to 18 Years

    Barry Ardolf, a Minnesota based neighbor-turned-hacker was recently sentenced to 18 years in prison for actions that fall somewhere between "personal vendetta" and "domestic cyberterrorism scheme." It all started back in 2009 when the Kostolnik family moved in next door to Ardolf. After an event where Ardolf alledgedly kissed the Kostolnik's 4 year old son on the lips (a claim Ardolf hotly contested) Ardolf hacked into the Kostolnik's Wi-Fi network and proceed to wreak havoc as a response to the Kostolnik's allegations.

    The effects of his hacking, on the other hand, are entirely clear. After hacking into his neighbor's encrypted Wi-Fi network, Aldorf proceeded to do the following: set up a Myspace Account under Mr. Kostolnik's name and post child pornography on that account, send aggressively sexual emails to Mr. Kostolnik's female coworkers from his hacked email account and threaten the life of Vice President Joe Biden via email, advising the recipient, "This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously."

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  5. Impersonating Someone On the Internet Is Now A Misdemeanor in California

    California Senate Bill 1411 went into effect yesterday, adding criminal and civil penalties to the act of impersonating a person online.  Specifically,
    to knowingly and without consent credibly impersonate another person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten or defraud another person.
    Sounds great for identity theft.  But, as TechCrunch points out, the bill does not address satiric or parodic impersonations a la Fake Steve Jobs.

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  6. Meanwhile, in Japan: Hackers Blackmail Sex Game Players

    From Daily Yomiuri Online comes the story of a couple of hackers who didn't feel that regular run-of-the-mill identity theft was really enough. After slipping a trojan into an adult computer game, and then putting it up on file sharing websites, the two men found themselves with the personal information of a whole bunch of people who play sex games. What to do, what to do... How about: solicit money in exchange for not leaking that the person plays sex games to the internet? Well when you put it that way...

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